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Leading cancer care experts from UPMC and Bon Secours Health System speak at National Oncology Symposium

Posted on: 22 Feb 2018

Leading cancer care experts from UPMC and Bon Secours Health System speak at National Oncology Symposium
Charles Bogosta, President, UPMC Hillman Cancer Ctr and Exec Vice President of UPMC. Dwight E. Heron MD, MBA, Director of Radiation Oncology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Ctr. Mr Brian Barry MB BCh, BMedSci, MD, Colorectal Surgeon, BSHC. Mr Bill Maher CEO BSHS

22 February 2018. Bon Secours Health System and UPMC have partnered to deliver the first National Oncology Symposium and together will deliver a cohesive, multidisciplinary symposium presented by Irish and international cancer care experts. The symposium takes place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.   


In addition, a joint venture between UPMC and Bon Secours Cork will see the development of a new state of the art Radiotherapy Centre in Cork, combining the expertise of BSHS with UPMC’s world-renowned model of cancer care, is planned to open in 2019 and will bring the latest and best radiation therapy treatments to patients closer to where they live. This week an Tanaiste, Mr Simon Coveney TD, highlighted that the population of Cork is due to grow by 60% over the next 20 years.

Bon Secours and UPMC have partnered to deliver a cohesive, multidisciplinary network of cancer care providers that will provide comprehensive and holistic cancer care within your local community if ever the need arises.

Mr Bill Maher CEO Bon Secours Health System welcomed the joint venture: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with UPMC as part of our on-going partnership to develop Oncology Services for the people we serve”. He continued: “This exciting symposium brings together experts from across the world to highlight the very highest quality of services that can be delivered and it is a significant part of our ambitious 2020 strategy to launch our new services soon and raise awareness on this important issue.”

Charles Bogosta, President, UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre and Executive Vice President of UPMC said: "We are pleased to support the Oncology Symposium, designed to advance the latest treatments in cancer care. This gathering reflects the expertise and state-of-the-art technology that our patients can expect when UPMC and Bon Secours open the new Radiotherapy Centre in Cork next year."

According to the Irish Cancer Society, every 3 minutes in Ireland someone gets a cancer diagnosis. Every hour someone dies from cancer. Incidence of cancer is growing and by 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime.

•             By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime.

•             In Ireland an average of 40,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.

The most common cancers diagnosed in Ireland are: Skin cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Bowel cancer and Lung Cancer

In relation to Cancer mortality, 1 in 4 deaths in Ireland is caused by cancer. Cancer is the second biggest killer in Ireland. It accounts for approximately 30% of deaths every year;  heart disease accounts for 31% of all deaths. One person dies from cancer every hour in Ireland.  Over 9,000 deaths every year are from cancer.

Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer, causing one third of all cancers. 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are known to cause cancer. Half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease.

For the last 20 years, hundreds of cancer patients at Bon Secours Hospital Cork have secured access to new and better drugs by volunteering to take part in clinical trials. These include the trials which proved the worth of Herceptin and Palbociclib internationally. Today these drugs are used by thousands of breast cancer patients. Bon Secours Hospital Cork was the only Munster site which participated in the trial of Lonsurf, a novel colon cancer drug now standard of care in late stage colon cancer.

Dr. Brian Bird Consultant Medical Oncologist at the hospital said “We are proud to be a Cancer Trials Ireland Site. With 2 research nurses, a data manager, and a research pharmacist we can offer our patients new hope. Current trials include new treatments for breast and ovarian cancer. Collaborative work initiated in Bons Cork has won funding from UCC and Science Foundation Ireland. We are grateful to our predecessors who started this great work and happy to build on it with UPMC looking forward to opening radiotherapy trials in future”. 

Bon Secours Hospital Cork, is the largest private hospital in Ireland, which has been treating patients in the Munster region for over 100 years.  The extensive expansion of the hospital costing some €77m is the largest ever investment undertaken by the Bon Secours Health System and is a key part of the €150m investment by the Health System as part of the recently launched  2020 Plan in its 5 acute hospitals in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Dublin as well as its Care Village in Cork.

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